Monroe County Executive Adam Bello Announces Proposed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Award for the Veterans Outreach Center

November 3rd, 2022

Photo of ARPA Press Conference

Funding would help complete construction on veteran housing facility and further critical services provided by the VOC.

View Full Press Release (PDF)

Today, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello joined Congressman Joe Morelle and the Veterans Outreach Center to announce a proposal of nearly $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to complete renovation and expansion work on the Richards House, a housing complex for homeless male veterans.

“The sacrifices our servicemen and women endure grant us our freedom. It is our duty to serve them when they are in need,” said County Executive Bello. “This proposal would ensure that veterans get the care they need when they are their most vulnerable. Laura Stradley and her team at the VOC deserve recognition for their work and dedication to our veterans.”

For nearly 50 years the VOC has worked tirelessly to serve veterans and their families. The Richards House, located on Cypress Street in Rochester, currently has housing capacity for 38 homeless veterans. The expansion of the facility will increase capacity to accommodate 66 veterans. Residents at the Richards House will have access to a variety of services offered by the VOC, like healthcare, job programs, nutritional assistance, among others.

The Veterans Outreach Center’s proposal is one of almost 40 projects selected as part of Bring Monroe Back, Monroe County’s plan that will utilize federal funds received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Through the efforts of Congressman Joseph D. Morelle, and Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Monroe County is the recipient of $144,080,127 in local fiscal recovery funds.

“When we send the men and women of our armed forces into harm’s way, we make a promise to take care of them when they come home,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “I’m proud to have secured this funding for the Veterans Outreach Center that will help advance their mission of supporting our local veterans—particularly ensuring they have safe, stable housing. I’m grateful for the leadership and partnership of County Executive Bello as he continues utilizing these federal investments to ensure everyone in our community can thrive.”

“Countless veterans across Monroe County have had their lives vastly improved by the services provided by the Veterans Outreach Center,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer. “I’m proud to have secured funding in the American Rescue Plan that will go towards completing their housing complex for homeless veterans, and I applaud County Executive Bello for prioritizing our local heroes who are most in need.”

”Our service members lay their lives on the line for our freedom and our way of life – the least we can do is ensure they are taken care when they are no longer active duty,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Thank you to Monroe County Executive Adam Bello for prioritizing the health and safety of our veterans – and thank you to the Veterans Outreach Center for continuing to serve those who served our nation.”

"There are few things more important in life than having a safe place to lay your head at night,” said Laura Stradley, Executive Director of the Veterans Outreach Center. “At Veterans Outreach Center, we're committed to ensuring that all veterans in this region have a place to call home. We are so appreciative to Adam Bello and his entire administration for joining us in this effort."

About the Bring Monroe Back ARPA initiative:

Under County Executive Bello’s Bring Monroe Back recovery initiative, the Department of Planning conducted a community wide survey, held numerous public meetings and heard testimony from community organizations to determine community-funding priorities. The plan is now before the Monroe County Legislature for consideration and approval. Selected programs align with one or more of County Executive Bello’s four pillars for Monroe County’s future: Public Health and Wellness, Public Safety, Economic and Workforce Development, and Infrastructure.

Pending approval by the County Legislature, Monroe County will enter into a contract with the Veterans Outreach Center that will commence on or about Jan. 1, 2023.